Monday, 18 February 2013

Week one, under pressure.

So having finally plucked up the courage to leave the comfort of my job at BBC Easy Cook magazine I am officially starting my journey as a freelance food writer and home economist. The blog seemed like a good idea to keep me from talking to my non-existent cats while I ‘adjust’ to working largely from home…alone. Arghhhh I must be mad, do you think it’s too late to get my job back???

On the plus side, I do actually have quite a big project over the coming weeks, testing 101 pressure cooker recipes for BBC Books and about 30 slow cooker recipes. I have, unfortunately, during my career developed a bit of a reputation for being the go-to-girl for slow cooker questions, a sort of slow cooker slut, if you will.  This is something bitter sweet, for while I always appreciate the work, I have grown to hate the slow cooker. Believe me you would too if you’d ever had 8 plugged in at once in a tiny flat- mainly all containing some kind of bean based stew/soup/curry.

When the pressure cookers and slow cookers arrived this weekend I’ll admit, having never used a pressure cooker, I was a little scared. Rumors of explosions and scary warnings in the instruction book (which I usually avoid like the plague) only served to heighten this fear. So for most of the weekend I just maneuvered around all the boxes, pretending they weren’t there. Whoever said ignorance isn’t bliss was a liar.

Then yesterday I decided to man up and have a go. So, after a few chats with friends and a bit of help from my good friend Google I treated the family to a delicious dinner of beef ragù with penne and lots of Parmesan cheese (obviously). The verdict…..In just 17 minutes (plus a bit of prep time) the pressure cooker created what would usually take me at least 3 hours of gentle simmering. It was rich, meaty, super tender and generally delicious. The family was suitably impressed and a good evening was had by all- minus any explosions. Suffice to say, I am now very excited about the next few weeks, if the ragù is anything to go by… for the slow cookers, the less said the better.

(food photography not one of my strong points)